Stirling MP Sounds Alarm Over Hospitality Sector


Categories: Constituency, Culture and Tourism, Local Business, News, UK Government (Westminster)

Alyn Smith Urges UK Chancellor to Act

Local MP Alyn Smith has called on the UK Government to do more to support businesses in the hospitality sector, as industry bodies and leaders sound the alarm. The cost of living crisis, increasing input costs and sky-high energy bills have left many businesses reeling. 

UK Hospitality estimates that the sector employed 285,000 pre-pandemic and added £6bn per year to the Scottish economy by way of Gross Value Added. The sector remains the 3rd largest employer in Scotland, supporting a full range of complementary businesses across tourism, leisure and sport – as well as boosting high streets and city centres across the country.

In a letter to the UK Chancellor ahead of his Budget, Mr Smith is calling for the Government to: 

  • Limit the impacts of the soaring cost of energy by continuing to help businesses in the short term and in the longer term by reforming the UK energy market.
  • Invest in growing the sector by reducing VAT on hospitality – this would stimulate growth and help support business through this difficult period.
  • Urgently work with industry to identify vulnerable suppliers, and extend support further up the supply chain to reduce input costs.

Stirling MP Alyn Smith said:

‘Businesses across Stirling and Scotland are struggling right now, as economic anxiety amidst the cost of living crisis continues to rumble on. Stirling especially has a thriving hospitality sector, which has been badly exposed to the soaring costs of energy.

‘The UK Chancellor has the opportunity in his upcoming budget to put in place tailored support for the hospitality sector, to ensure these businesses – many of whom have slim profit margins at the best of times – survive the coming economic downturn. We face the prospect of even more empty units and buildings in our communities, should the UK Government let hospitality go to the wall through no fault of the businesses themselves.

‘Energy bills and spiralling input costs are continuing to weigh heavily on the sector. I urge the Chancellor to work constructively with sector leaders and Governments at every level to protect a sector which is so important for the economy, employment and our very sense of place.’